fbpx

Blog

When will you open?

With everything that has been going on we have had a lot of people reaching out asking when we will open our doors again. Unfortunately, we will not be pursuing finding a new physical location any time in the near future. These times are too unpredictable. Even with state and city laws lifting the bans insurance companies are not willing to cover COVID related lawsuits.

With that in mind, I will always love martial arts and sharing that passion with others. I am building online classes as fast as I can record and write the curriculum. There are several classes now available for free with more advanced ones to come in the near future. I will also be offering private classes either in person or via Skype for any who is interested. Private classes are $60 an hour. Your first lesson is a buy one get one free, so $60 for two hours. If you are interested in booking a private lesson please email the owner Janeal Ironside at janeal.ironside@ironsidemc.org

It was my hope to organized summer training camps at our outdoor location with the help of our sponsors Rocky Mountain Brewery. If things get better there is still a possibility of these camps during the month of July. However, a lot of this is dependent on the bans and how fast the state opens up.

Thank you, everyone, who has supported us during these very strange times. Continue to support and be kind to one another. Together we will come out of this mess all the stronger because of it.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.  

We also have new FREE Online Courses. Enroll now and begin learning the art of knighthood.

Why Practice Figure 8s?

Many struggle with seeing the applications of drills and how they can be used in a fight.  Drills are designed to practice specific movements and develop the muscle control needed for those techniques.  Figure 8s are one of those drills that is hard to understand how they are helpful.  These two separate drills, downward and upward figure 8s, seem unnecessarily fancy for a real fight.  However, if you combine them then magic happens.

 

The drill is meant to practice these strikes from both sides.  The practical application is to combine them doing an upward figure 8 from the right and a downward figure 8 from the left or reverse.  This combination allows you to target your opponent’s hand in the first strike and land a hard strike to the shoulder or collarbone.  Here is an example of how these strike patterns work with a knife, the concept being the same no matter the length of the blade.

Or the sword version of this combination is:

Figure 8 Combo.

This drill is combining the Upper Figure 8 Strike with the Downward Figure 8 Strike along with the footwork from Circle Drill #2. In the video I am doing this drill with a longsword, however, this exact combo works well with sword and shield as well. Start with your sword leg forward, this gives you the maximum reach to start your attack at the far edge of your range. The sword strike is coming up to go for your opponent’s forearm. Step forward with your non-dominate leg. Make sure your foot is outside your opponent’s feet. That will place you on an off-angle that will give you more of a defensive advantage. Once you have stepped forward throw the downward figure 8 strike. When done right this is an extremely powerful combination.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

 

We also have new FREE  Online Courses. Enroll now and begin learning the art of knighthood.

 

Swedish Meatballs

I’m starting to explore and get creative with all this cooking stuff.  This is a first attempt recipe for me.  Both a first for making meatballs and a first for the complete Swedish Meatball dish.  It turned out really delicious!  I used egg noodles instead of regular pasta and it was awesome.  The noodles had an almost butter flavor that went perfectly with the meatballs and sauce.  Here is the original recipe and the variations I made to it.

Ingredients

1 egg

2 -1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup soft bread crumbs – I chopped up 1 slice of frozen wheat bread

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley – I only had dried parsley.  Use extra when it is dried.

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg – I used allspice

8 ounces ground beef

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules – I used beef bouillon cubes

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cooked noodles

img_2184

Instructions

It’s not that I intentionally break the rules and refuse to follow directions.  At least that is the case most of the time.  Many times when it comes to recipes I have to make adjustments based on what I have on hand or dietary restrictions.  I will provide the original recipe then the variations that I made.

Original

In a large bowl combine egg and the 1/4 cup milk.  Stir in bread crumbs, onion, the 1/4 cup parsley, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Add beef and pork.  Mix well.  Shape into 30 meatballs (Darling, 362).

Variation

I like using whole spices and grind it myself using a mortar and pestle.  In a large bowl, I combined the egg, 1/4 cup milk, chopped up onion, and 1.5 cups dried parsley.  Then I placed 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice berries,  and 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper in my mortar to crush and grind up.  Once everything was at a fine powered I poured into my bowl with the other ingredients.  Last, I chopped up my frozen slice of bread to mix.  Last I added a package of lean 93% ground beef to the bowl.  I like to mix with my hands (make sure to wash your hands before and after).

 

 

Original

In a large skillet cook half the meatballs at a time in hot butter over medium heat about 10 minutes or until done (an instant-read thermometer inserted into meatballs should register 160 degrees F), turning to brown evenly.  Remove meatballs from skillet, reserving drippings; drain meatballs on paper towels.  Measure 2 tablespoons drippings; if necessary, add cooking oil to make the 2 tablespoons (Darling, 362).

Variation

img_2181

First, when it comes to making consistent size meatballs I used an old ice cream scooper.  Frying meatballs turned into a big mess.  I had to keep adding oil to keep them from sticking to the bottom of my pan.  If I didn’t then the meatballs completely fell apart as I was turning them in the pan.  The meat might have fallen apart, but they still tasted delicious.  When it came to making the sauce I had already cooked most of the oil off and had leftover bits of meat in the pan.  I added the flour and milk to the pan with the leftover bits of meant and it made the perfect sauce.

For the final touch, I served these over egg noodles normally used for traditional roman soup.  The noodles had a buttery after taste that went perfectly with the meatballs.

img_2186

Works Cited:

Darling, Jennifer D. Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. 12th ed., Meredith Corporation, 2003.

Tools of the Trade

What is the difference between a weapon and a tool?  Take a knife as an example it can be a tool to cut up food or a weapon to defend yourself.  The definition can be found in the purpose of use and, I would wager, your familiarity with the item.   How comfortable are you with handling it? Are you accurate, can you hit what you are aiming at? Do you know how to hold it just so to prevent developing blisters after heavy use?  There is any number of little details that can only be gained with experience from using your weapon of choice.  Many martial artists gain that experience through hundreds of hours of training.  There is another form of training that is often overlooked, and that is how you can be selective in the type of tools you use for your everyday chores.  During the quarantine, many of us have gone outside to get a head start on our yard projects.  Here is a perfect opportunity to gain some experience and knowledge in using a sword.

I have had the privilege of taking a few knife training classes with Ed Calderon (or better known as EdManifesto on social media).  Ed has over 10 years of experience working in the fields of counter-narcotics, organized crime, and public safety in the northern areas of Mexico.  His study into the criminal culture, from occult practices to modern fighting techniques has lead him to be recognized as one of the world’s preeminent researchers and training in the field of personal security.  He has had the privilege of sharing his expertise with federal law enforcement agencies, Navy SEALS, Indonesian Kapaska, Mexican and United States intelligence service agents, and members of special forces groups from all over the world (Calderon 2018).  I mention Ed’s extensive background to add weight to the advice he gave me.  He once told me that if you want to learn how to use a knife talk to people who use it as part of their profession such as butchers.  Butchers know exactly how to handle a knife to process an animal to get the best cuts of meat with the least amount of wasted effort.  To give you a perspective on this when was the last time you tried carving a turkey for your family’s holiday dinner?  Was it hard?  Do you have one of those nifty electronic knives to make it easier?  The electronic knife makes the special occasion easier, but it’s also cheating.

That sounds well and good, but how would you get that same experience with a sword?  That is where your yard work comes in handy.  Go out and get yourself a machete from your local hardware store.  Machetes are incredibly close to the size and weight of a single-edged, single hand fighting sword.  In fact, they make wonderful practice swords.  Now that you are armed with a machete find a pile of branches you need to process, maybe trees that need their branches trimmed, or bushes that are overgrown.  Can you hit the spot on the branch you are aiming for? Can you hit that same spot repeatedly?

Machete Example 1

In this picture, I am working on processing a giant pile of felled trees, branches, and various debris.  I’m also using a machete, which is very tip heavy.  Machetes are the modern version of a medieval weapon type known as falchions.  Falchions are very popular for close-in fighters in the sport of full steel fighting.  The tip heavy weight makes them ideal for chopping at your opponent’s defenses, or in this case tree branches.   There is a trick to making sure the front end of the sword hits first instead of the middle or back of your blade.  If you swing wrong not only will you miss your target your sword will get stuck in your splitting stump.

Machete Example 2

This detail might seem trivial, but it can be bad for the blade to constantly get stuck not to mention this is about developing control and accuracy.

The next thing to focus on is your grip.  Too tight and you will tire out quickly along with developing blisters on your hands.  Too loose and you won’t have enough power to drive your blade through the branches you are trying to cut.  I, like most Americans, have a cush indoor job spending most of my time on computers.  As a result, I have baby soft skin on my hands.  Outside of that, I blister incredibly easy, even wearing gloves.  Last summer I developed 4 blisters on my hands digging ONE fence post hole.  However, I spent 4 hours swinging a machete cutting up tree branches without developing a single blister. It all has to do with keeping a firm yet relaxed grip, and 100s of hours of practice.

Experience is the mother of all skills.  With experience, you gain confidence, accuracy, stamina, and control. All of that can be gained with a single afternoon of yard work.  Can you just imagine how skilled medieval woodcutters would have been after spending a lifetime swinging an ax?

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Works Cited

Calderon, Ed. “Ed’s Manifesto.” Facebook, 25 Feb. 2018, www.facebook.com/edsmanifesto/.

Ironside Fitness: martial arts workout

Some of my top fans have been requesting a martial arts-based cardio workout, which is a brilliant idea.  Here is my first cardio and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout that incorporates the basic techniques found in my empty hand program (Pinto Blad and Impact Tactics).

Depending on how hard you want to push yourself decided how many times you want to repeat the two circuits.  If you decided to repeat the circuits complete both circuit #1 and #2 then go back to repeat them.  Circuit #1 and #2 should take 20 minutes.  All you need is a little space in your living room and a water bottle, no special equipment or martial arts knowledge is required.

Be sure to fully warm-up and stretch before jumping into this workout!  You can do your own warm-up or follow the suggested warm-up

Suggested Warm-up

This is the warm-up Duncan with B Greater Fitness always had me doing before my workouts.  If you like this warm-up you will need a foam roller.

Foam Roll

  1. Upper Back –“Wellness Wednesday: Try a Foam roller for DIY massage”
  2. Quads -“Wellness Wednesday: Tight thigh muscles? Try a foam roller”
  3. Lats –“Lat & Rotator Cuff – Foam Roller Myofascial Release”
  4. Inner thigh –“Foam Rolling Adductor Muscle (Beginner) | Foam Rolling”
  5. Calves – “Foam Rolling Tight Spots in Calves – St Ives Physiotherapy & Sports Therapy Centre”
  6. IT bands – “Fix Your Lateral Knee Pain With A Foam Roller (Runner’s Knee, ITB ,TFL)”
  7. Hamstrings –“Wellness Wednesday: Use a foam roller to release your hamstrings”

Stretch

Be careful not to overstretch before your workout.  The point is to get your muscles loose and ready not to work on flexibility.

  1. Hamstring – hold for 20 seconds each leg and repeat once –Seated Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
  2. Chest – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once –Doorway Pec Stretch
  3. Butterfly – hold for 30 seconds repeat once – How to do a butterfly stretch
  4. Tricep – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once – Overhead Tricep Stretch
  5. Quad – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once – Standing Quadricep Stretch

 

Circuit #1

  1. Jab – 25 reps each side
  2. Cross – 25 reps each side
  3. Hook – 25 reps each side
  4. Uppercut – 25 reps each side
  5. Jab/Cross Combo – 25 reps each side
  6. Hook/Uppercut Combo – 25 reps each side
  7. Jab/Cross/Hook/Uppercut Combo – 25 reps each side

Total of 125 reps!

Take a  2 min break

Circuit #2

  1. Box Step – 10 reps each direction
  2. Jab/Cross switch – Left and Right count as one rep do 20 reps total
  3. Hook/Uppercut switch – Left and Right count as one rep do 20 reps total
  4. Female Triangle Step – 10 reps each direction
  5. Male Triangle step – 10 reps each direction
  6. Female Triangle with Knee strike – 10 reps each direction
  7. Male Triangle with Knee Strike – 10 reps each direction

Total of 180 reps!

Take a  2 min break – or use the suggested exercises in the video for your cool down.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.